Incremental Escalation, Part III
4:58 PM, Jul 10, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
When President Obama first announced his Afghan strategy, John McCain warned that the failure to commit enough troops to the fight would inevitably lead to a "Lyndon Johnson-style" incremental escalation. Indeed, in early June the Pentagon "quietly" sent an additional 1,000 special operations troops to Afghanistan "to bolster a larger conventional troop buildup" that was already well underway. And now today comes a report from the Washington Post that General McChrystal has concluded that,
The president had to know this was coming. There was no reason to doubt General McKiernan's estimate of the number of troops that would be necessary to get the job done -- an estimate that Obama choose to ignore for reasons that were obviously political. And as was the case during the Bush administration, allowing domestic politics to dictate force levels in a conflict is a recipe for disaster -- and escalation. If this causes a "whiskey tango foxtrot moment" at the White House, Obama will have no one to blame but himself.